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shoplifting, Lake County criminal defense attorneyShoplifting is one of the most common crimes in the country, but it can have effects that are far-reaching to businesses, lawmakers, and to society as a whole. The crime is so common, in fact, that there is a National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, working to both reduce the number of shoplifting incidents in the United States and to discourage would-be shoplifters from committing such crimes. More than 10 million individuals have been arrested or accused of shoplifting in the last half decade, and current estimates suggest that 1 in every 11 people in the United States have shoplifted at one time or another.

Common Misconceptions

Because it is frequently a minor misdemeanor crime, shoplifting is often considered alongside crimes committed by juveniles, which are often offenses that do not, and cannot, affect one’s permanent record. Yet, the effects of shoplifting do, in fact, stay on a person’s record for a long time and can effect a person’s ability to find work—perpetuating an ugly cycle that, in many instances, led to the incident in the first place.

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public indecency, lewd acts, Lake County criminal defense attorneyThe laws against public indecency cover a wide range of individual offenses, including sexual offenses as well as incidences of public exposure. While these types of crimes are very common, they still carry serious consequences for anyone charged, sometimes the effects of which can last for a very long time as a person may be added to the national or state registry of sexual offenders, affecting a person’s ability to find work, live in certain neighborhoods, or work in a job where children may be present.

In Illinois, public indecency is defined as (including but not limited to):

  • A public act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct; or
  • A lewd exposure (ie: flashing, public masturbation) done with the intent to arouse sexual desire in the victim.

The state legislature specifically calls out that in no situation will breast-feeding in public be considered an act of public indecency. A public place in this instance means anywhere that another person could witness or be present. It does not have to be a crowded public space: If a person exposes himself, for example, on a private street as only one other person is walking by, he or she could still be charged with public indecency. Another common type of citation for public indecency can include public urination—if, for instance, a person is out drinking and relieves himself on the street, he can be charged. This seemingly innocuous act could then stay on his record forever.

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shoplifting, retail theft, Lake County criminal defense attorneyWhile shoplifting may seem to be a rather victimless crime—the offense affects a corporation, rather than the livelihood of an immediate person—shoplifting is in fact a crime that affects us all, from law enforcement to retail managers to the legal system. Dealing with small or misdemeanor crimes such as retail theft costs money and time for communities from the ground up. And with more than 27 million shoplifters nationwide (that comes down to about one in every 11 people across the country), it is no small problem.

Surprising Statistics

Contrary to popular opinion, adults actually shoplift more than kids: three-quarters of all shoplifters are adults at the time of the alleged incident, though more than half of these admit to having begun shoplifting in their teenage years. Methods for shoplifting vary, but it is common that a person would buy something at the same time that he or she shoplifts, which some researchers say is thought to be a “cover” for these thieves. The crime is difficult to pinpoint, however, in part because the vast majority of these incidents are not pre-meditated; 73 percent of adult and 72 percent of young shoplifters report that they did not plan to steal in advance.

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Drug abuse, Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney, Substance Abuse, CDCAccording to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the Nation.” On the state level, Illinois recognizes the seriousness of the situation as well, having already implemented a statewide Prescription Monitoring Program to help doctors and pharmacies identify potential issues quickly. In addition to the obvious dangers of abusing prescription drugs, doctors are also acutely concerned that many who abuse prescription medication will eventually turn to heroin, cocaine, or other illegal substances.

The Illinois State Medical Society addressed this concern recently to the Illinois House Task Force on the Heroin Crisis, a bipartisan group formed to look for solutions to a growing problem. Recognizing the usefulness of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), the doctors’ group presented a 30 page proposal to the task force that, in essence, would strengthen the program and more easily identify “doctor shopping” and other drug-seeking behavior.

Authorized by Illinois state law, the PMP tracks and monitors prescription drugs on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedules II, III, IV, and V. The most commonly abused medications include morphine, oxycodone, codeine, and other painkillers, but the program’s scope includes all substances classified to those lists by the DEA. In the PMP’s current form, a patient is flagged by the system if he or she visits six or more prescribers or six or more pharmacies in a 30 day period. The proposed change would cause a patient to be flagged if he or she were to visit three or more prescribers or four or more pharmacies within 30 days.

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Posted on in DUI

ignition interlock device, illinois DUI defense attorneyA DUI conviction in Illinois can mean a licenses suspension of up to one year for a first offense. However, if you agree to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle, you can stay on the road.

How It Works

Colloquially known as a “blow and go,” a BAIID is essentially a portable breathalyzer that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition switch. A fuel cell inside the device analyzes the driver’s breath sample. If the alcohol concentration is above a predetermined level, the fuel cell triggers a relay to remain open, and the vehicle will not start. In Illinois, as in most other jurisdictions, that “predetermined level” is .025.

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